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SARF Symposium Seeks Sustainability in Aquaculture

SCOTLAND, UK - The Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum in association with the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Norwegian Academy of Science have staged an international symposium devoted to the theme of sustainabililty in aquaculture.

More than 30 leading experts were invited to provide delegates with a clear understanding of key issues relevant to the sustainable future of aquaculture.

The symposium, designed to inform a broad audience including decision makers at all levels - bringing industry, science, policy and regulation together, was held in Edinburgh.

According to a news release by FishUpdate, Bjorn Hersoug of the University of Tromso has called for the aquaculture industry to learn from past experience or risk repeating unsustainable growth followed by collapsing production and employment. His presentation focused on whether the global aquaculture industry has learnt from its experiences as a new-comer in the economic and social life of coastal communities. In particular he focused on the aquaculture development experiences of Norway, Chile and Vietnam, said FishUpdate.

According to the news organisation he said that, While all have become major aquaculture producers, their prospects for sustainable development have varied widely. Norway has seen sustained growth of its industry over the years and is expected to continue growing. Chile has shown remarkable growth but is expected to show a disastrous decline in production over the next few years, with production levels probably dropping to less than half of those in recent years. Vietnam has shown even more remarkable growth however most expect that these growth levels are unsustainable and may well collapse in the future.

Another key message was delivered by Skretting Business Development Manager Paul Morris held in Edinburgh in April. According to a report from FishFarmer, fishmeal and fish oil will be essential raw materials in fish feed for many years to come but continuing research will ensure they deliver increasing production and consumer benefits from a sustainable supply.

Fish Farmer reported that Morris began with a fundamental point, “Fish need nutrients not raw materials. Our task as feed producers is to understand what those nutritional needs are and match them by using the available raw materials. Fishmeal and fish oil provide an excellent balance of nutrients and for many years they have been the economic choice in feeds for aquaculture species such as Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout.”

Now, though, demand for fish feed is increasing because of the global expansion of aquaculture. At the same time, as became clear last year, if prices for vegetable proteins such as soya meal rise too far, fishmeal becomes the economic option in other feeds, notably for raising pigs in China and that market is massive. However, the sustainable supply of fishmeal and fish oil is stable and unlikely to increase.

the Fish Site Editor

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